• Grant Cameron-Smith

Mountain Bike Maintenance 101



Self-sufficiency for on-the-road bike maintenance is really important. This is especially true when you are far away from any kind of repair facilities or travelling alone as I will be doing.


Often maintenance needs to be done under quite difficult circumstances too. Bad light. Crazy winds or rain. As they say - it never rains but it pours!


I was fortunate to receive excellent training by a seasoned bike mechanic in Johannesburg. This has given me far more confidence in being able to keep myself moving along despite little setbacks.


What kind of stuff does one need to know?


Here is a short list of some of the on-road maintenance needed:


  • Fix a puncture

  • Replace a tube

  • General bike adjustments

  • Replace pedals

  • Disassemble and reassemble the bike for transportation

  • Replace or repair a damaged tyre (incidentally, I will not be carrying a spare tyre)

  • Replace a broken spoke

  • True a wheel that is out of alignment (wobbling from side to side)

  • Repair or replace a broken or damaged chain

  • Replace a brake or gear cable

  • Replace brake pads and adjust

  • Adjust the derailleur that provides for gear changes

  • Change the bike to a single speed bike should the derailleur become damaged or broken.

  • Solve problems with the electrics system regarding dynamo, lighting, batteries or USB devices.

Should the problems be far greater (for example a damaged or broken frame) then some other form of transport may be needed to a bike shop for repairs!